Super Bowl time…
I guess I am making up for lost time because this is the third post this week. Sometimes when it rains you get wet. I think it is time that we start talking about my favorite American holiday, The Super Bowl. Yes some people like Christmas, I just like watching my kids excitement that morning but of course that means I have to get up to see it. Other people like Easter, who can argue with chocolate bunnies? Thanksgiving has turkey and the Fourth of July has the fireworks. But nothing says Super Bowl Sunday like a small group of friends having a little fellowship over chicken wings, nachos, pizza, chips/salsa, and other finger foods. I know there are two teams playing but since it isn’t Dallas (again), I am just there for the food and commercials.
I guess there are some people out there (Karlene) who actually will be watching the game with more than a passing casual interest. To those folks, I dedicate this detailed analysis of the game. For others who don’t care about football, I will give you a couple of names and titbits of knowledge that you can throw down at your party and it will give you street cred. New England and Seattle both finished the season as the top ranked teams in their conferences. That earned them each home field advantage in the playoffs and it quite possibly propelled Seattle on their near miraculous comeback two weeks ago against Green Bay.
Seattle has the number one ranked defense and was the number one ranked rushing team this past year. Those two stats go hand in hand. As the game wears on and Seattle was able to pull ahead in the score, they became very one dimensional with a heavy run first offense. This gave them a huge advantage in time of possession and racked up the yards. When the defense was on the field, their opponent was largely playing from behind and trying to pass the ball. The Seattle defense is geared to play against the pass. They are very fast and teams find it difficult to run sweeps. As a result of their philosophy, they usually have the advantage going into the fourth quarter with a lead and in those situations they are almost unbeatable. The quarterback is not a classic stay in the pocket thrower. He is very mobile and will run anytime there is an opening. Their offense is a power eye and pistol style that uses a read option running philosophy.
New England is a pass first offense built to pass with effectiveness and run as a second option. Although they are a pass first team, they are not a finesse style offense. They have a very respectable power run offense style offensive line that uses a zone blocking scheme. Their primary running back is a power back that has a mean streak a mile wide. The Patriots have arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time and the most dominating tight end in football. They play a spread style passing game that spreads the ball around to the open receiver. The New England defense is a hybrid style defense that is more of a match-up defense than a classic 4-3/3-4. They will blitz when the opportunity presents itself and they were able to rack up 40 sacks on the season.
Both teams have excellent special teams, kickers, and punters. If this game comes down to a battle of field position and field goals, I would think that would be a huge advantage to Seattle. Both teams have excellent coaching staffs. They know their teams intimately and are master game planners. Do not expect either team to have an advantage in preparation.
Players to Know with a little tidbit:
Russell Wilson, Quarterback. He played three years at North Carolina State before transferring to Wisconsin for his Senior year.
Marshawn Lynch, Running back. Played three years for the Buffalo Bills before being traded to Seattle for a fourth and a fifth round draft pick.
Luke Willson, Tight End: He is from Canada but played college at Rice University.
Richard Sherman, Defensive Back. Played college football at Stanford as a wide receiver until his Junior season.
Kam Chancellor, Defensive Back. Played football at Virginia Tech and is considered the best safety in school history.
Bobby Wagner, Linebacker. Was considered a two star recruit in California and only had a single college scholarship offer to Utah State. Four years later he was the WAC defensive player of the year and was a second round draft pick.
New England Offense:
Tom Brady, Quarterback. No need to mention anything about him, just listen to the blowhard at your party and he will tell you everything you want to know about Brady.
LeGarette Blunt, Running back. Played for the Oregon Ducks in college. He was undrafted after college in part to an incident following a game with Boise State where he punched a Boise player, a Oregon player and a couple of fans after the game. He was suspended for the season but was reinstated after four games. You can see the fight on YouTube if you want. He has played for four pro teams and this is his second stint with New England.
Rob Gronkowski, Tight End. One of five brothers. The oldest was a minor league baseball player, two brothers are former college football players. One was drafted into the NFL, and the youngest brother plays football at Kansas State. Their great grandfather was an Olympic cyclist in the 1920s.
New England Defense:
Rob Ninkovich, Linebacker. Drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2006.
Patrick Chung, Defensive Back. Born in Jamaica. His mother was a Jamaican Reggae star in the 1980s and his brother is a professional dancer in New York.
Devin McCourty, Defensive Back. His brother, Jason McCourty is a defensive back for the Tennessee Titans.
Prediction sure to be wrong:
It could be a close game and if it is then I think Seattle has the advantage because of the defense. However, I don’t expect it to be close. I think New England is going to be focused and will want to erase all doubts about deflated footballs. I expect New England to come out running the football up the middle. I expect that Seattle will be forced to move an extra player up to combat the run and then New England will start to pass the football. I expect that New England will force Russell Wilson to throw the football from the pocket and will leave their defensive backs in man on man coverage.
I predict that New England will come out fast and gain control of the momentum early. Look for a 10-0 score at the end of the 1st quarter with New England possessing the ball for the majority of the time. The second quarter New England will take control and will have a 27-7 lead going into halftime. The third quarter will be Seattle’s desperation quarter but they will be too far behind and Wilson will throw two interceptions. The Patriots will be ahead 37-7 and will run out the clock to finish the game winning 47-7. I predict that LeGarette Blunt will be the MVP.
There you go, sorry Karlene but that is how I see it. Tune in Tuesday for postgame reaction. Until next time, keep on rockin.